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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Questions on Isa Upanishad

(1) question: what are worlds covered with clouds or those who worship body willhave great darkness… worlds without sun that people will go if they killthemselves.

Answer: I hope the translation you have given is for the third verse. Let me try asimple understanding. You are right that there is nothing like heaven or hellsome where outside. We create heaven and hell by our own ignorance. When we saythose who kill themselves… it is not about persons who commit suicide in aconventional way. It is essentially, our nature is eternal and we are the eternal principle whichcan not be burnt by fire or touched by water and a sword can not cut us etc. assaid in Gita by lord Krishna. We are eternal and temporarily bound in this bodyfor this short period of time in this life and therefore this body undergoeschange. Those who think they are this body which is short lived and not thesoul which is eternal out of their ignorance are the people who killthemselves, because they out of their choice identified with that which diesand not identified with that is eternal. Such persons worship body. In givingthe idea of worship Upanishad gives the word upaasana, which actually conveysupa= near, in close proximity and asana= sitting with, therefore sittingclosely with body, so close that there is nothing closer than that and nothingcan penetrate in between, this identifying with body is worshipping, as thebody is dying every moment they will also experiencing the death or fear ofdeath! They go to those worlds which are without the light called wisdom. Thosewho identify with body are not one with atman.

(2) Question: why would vidya delude a person from true reality? If you cling toknowledge too much without experience the knowledge it self is not useful…
Answer: You are very true when you said clinging to the knowledge withoutexperience. Knowledge is a tool for experience. A knowledge which does not takeus for experience is non-knowledge. It becomes arrogance! That is a greatdanger greater than having ignorance. Ignorant at least has a hope to becomeknowledgeable one day and further journey is possible towards experience butone who has knowledge but it has become arrogant instead of experiencing ha hasno hope at all! But as you expressed means is necessary for the end. Knowledgeis necessary for experience but means is not the end.

(3)Question: what are self and atman…?
Answer: Atman as I see is our simple experience as exepriencer, when I say I amhappy. It essentially refers to very individual expereice. These remains asindividual until we are in this body and if we not have any specific clingingsthe moment we leave the body the individual becomes nothing but the universal‘I’.


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